God stated that King Ahab did more evil in his eyes than any other king before him. When the Lord of heaven makes this kind of comment about a person’s life this clearly reveals that God was not pleased with Ahab’s rule. God said that Ahab didn’t think much was wrong with the evil things that he did while he ruled. He married a foreign woman named Jezebel who worshipped the god Baal and he built a temple to honor this god in Samaria. He also built altars and idols to another pagan deity named Asherah. He allowed Jezebel to kill godly priests and a godly man named Naboth. He also created problems for the prophet Elijah while he was alive. He appears on the Biblical Timeline Chart starting in 932 BC.
Ahab was the son of King Omri a former military commander who had taken over the throne after he assassinated another military leader named Zimri who was a self-proclaimed king. Omri was a wicked ruler and he taught his son his evil ways. After Omri had passed away Ahab took what he had learned from his father and put it into practice while he ruled Israel. Ahab name means ” father’s brother” or “uncle”.
Ahab, Obadiah, Elijah and Jezebel
At one point during Ahab’s rule his wife Jezebel was killing God’s prophets. King Ahab didn’t care about what she was doing because he was worshipping Baal. God sent a prophet named Elijah to resolve this situation. Before Elijah confronted the King Ahab, the king had one of his chief servants, named Obadiah, to find some grass or vegetation for the king’s animals. The land of Israel was experiencing a severe famine at the time. Obadiah did what the king had commanded him.
Obadiah began to search Israel for some green pastures and while he was out performing his duties he met up with Elijah. Obadiah was a godly man who hid many prophets away from Jezebel. When Obadiah saw Elijah he bowed to him and they started to talk. Elijah told Obadiah to tell Ahab that he was going to pay him a visit. Obadiah was afraid to tell King Ahab because the king and Jezebel had wanted to capture Elijah since he was the leader of the prophets. Ultimately, Obadiah did as Elijah told him to and Ahab met up with him. So Elijah confronted Ahab and told him that him to summon the prophets of Baal. There was showdown between the prophet of God and the false prophets. Elijah won this confrontation. This was a major blow dealt to his kingdom because Elijah proved that God was stronger than Baal.
Naboth was a Jezreelite who lived in Israel during the reign of Ahab. King Ahab wanted his vineyard because it was beautiful and it was located near his royal palace. King Ahab wanted to pay Naboth for his vineyard or exchange it for another vineyard. Naboth refused to part with it because it was a family plot. King Ahab became upset and was depressed about the situation. His wife Jezebel told him that she would get Naboth’s land. She devised a scheme where two men bore a false witness against Naboth claiming that he cursed God and the king. The people stoned Naboth for these sins. Jezebel then told King Ahab to take his land because he was dead. God once again used Elijah to inform King Ahab that dogs will lick up his blood in the same spot where Naboth died. Elijah also tells Ahab about Jezebel’s fate as well. Ultimately, King Ahab lost his life at the battle of Ramoth Gilead. His blood that was washed off of his chariot was licked up by dogs in the city of Samaria in the same place where Naboth was unjustly killed.
- Biblical References:
1 Kings 16: 29 – 33 Ahab becomes king of Israel.
- 1 Kings 18 King Ahab and the prophets of Baal versus Elijah the Prophet on Mt. Carmel.
- 1 Kings 21 Jezebel kills Naboth and takes his lands for King Ahab.
- 1 Kings 22: 29 – 39 King Ahab dies and his blood is licked up by dogs.